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District Embarks on a 1:1 Chromebook Initiative back button

 2nd Graders at Chapin Street using Chromebooks
2nd Graders at Chapin Street using Chromebooks

Over the last few years the evolution of technology in the Ludlow Public School District has seen an explosion, both in the access and integration of technology.   The installation of the wireless access points to each of the district’s schools in the summer of 2013, purchasing 700 Chromebooks for classroom use and deploying a Chromebook to each of the district teachers at the start of the 2013-14 school year was pivotal to the district technology plan. Coupled with increased professional development aimed at technology, a dramatic change to the landscape of LPS classrooms to include the use of technology in transformative ways to support learning, steadily increased.

Fast forward to this school year and the district is ready to embark on an exciting  1:1 Chromebook initiative that will serve to equalize access of technology, personalize learning for students, empowering them to achieve their future career paths in the 21st century. “This is a game changer as it will facilitate the transition to a true 21st century learning environment in our schools,” stated Dr. Todd Gazda, LPS Superintendent.   “It is essential today that we provide all students access to the tools of modern digital learning.”

Lorraine Boucher, LPS Director of Technology, explained that every student in grades 2-12 will be issued an individual Chromebook. Students in grades 2-4 will be using the Chromebooks during school, while students in grades 5-12 will be allowed to bring the Chromebooks home.

“From our first forays into mobile technology, to the first full installation of WiFi at Veterans Park School in December 2011, and the expedited completion of the district WiFI plan during the summer of 2013, the goal has always been to prepare students for their future. The 1:1 initiative is the next step to help students gain the skills needed, not only for academics, but also for the workplace, using ever evolving tools,” Boucher said.

“As a school committee member, increased access, and use of technology, is something I have advocated since I first ran for this position,” said School Committee Vice Chairman, Dr. Michael Kelliher.  “A 1:1 program provides students with the same technology both in the classroom and at home, which is a huge benefit.  And perhaps the most impressive part of this program is that we are implementing it within our budget!”

“From the perspective a of parent, this is a huge step forward,” continued Kelliher.  “All students will have a device at home to complete their online homework, do their research, or write papers with zero cost to families.”

Dr. Erica Faginski, LPS Director of Curriculum, believes this opportunity reflects what learning looks like today.  “Our Chromebooks are one of many instructional tools students and teachers can access, though it is more diverse than most tools of the trade. The Chromebook can be a textbook, an encyclopedia, a typewriter.  In the past we needed all of these items, today, we can find access to each of these critical learning tools in one place.”

Gazda stated that the rollout should be complete by the end of September; adding that as with any new initiative he anticipates there will be challenges to overcome. “We will work to support teachers as they begin the process of shifting their instructional practices to leverage the power of these devices in their classes,” said Gazda.   

As Dr. Justin Tarte,  Executive Director of Human Resources and Learning Services in the Union R-XI School District, Union Missouri, recently Tweeted (@justintarte), “Technology can no longer be viewed as a learning enhancer; it must be viewed as a foundational piece of living in the 21st century.” It is clear that with this 1:1 Chromebook initiative, the Ludlow Public Schools is building a strong foundation to prepare students for the unique learning demands of our global 21st century. 


 

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